oil - a slippery subject

Where do we get our oil?

In 2015 the UK used a staggering 200 million tonnes of oil (Equivalent). That's a hell of a lot of oil. Crude oil takes up the highest percentage by type, followed by Natural gas and petroleum products.

So let's take crude oil for starters, where the hell do we get it?

Answer - closer than you’d think. The main importing country is Norway, which came as a surprise. But after you read about the huge pipeline between here and the country, it starts to make sense. The Norpipe sits at 220 miles long, running under the sea bed pumping oil into the UK at crazy rates. Commissioned in 1975, it's owned by 5 separate companies and solely operated by one, ConocoPhillips, an American corporation. Runner up is the OPEC, made up of a variety of countries, take a read here. And then finally, Russia. Which again, is surprising.

Let's take a look at petroleum imports. Keep Russia in mind.

Petroleum products consist of Petrol, Diesel and jet fuel etc. In the top three countries the UK imports these products, Russia is one go them. Or at least it was leading up to 2005. Along with Sweden and the Netherlands. Which strikes me as ironic, that the UK has such a good energy trade relationship with Russia. You could argue the fuel imported from Russia has just been used to power the jets we scramble to keep them out of our airspace. Examples here here and here . You get my point, all seems a tad fishy. but maybe that'd for another post.

With renewable energy on the rise, the UK has seen a decrease in the importation of non-renewable energy, such as oil. In 2018 the UK saw around 44,000 plug-in hybrid cars on the road, with an additional 15,000 being fully electric. This isn’t to say our society doesn’t still very much reply on the steady stream of black gold flowing into the UK, but steps are being made in the right direction.

Data collected from the UK ONS


© 2023 by Matt Low.